No Electronics Magazines? Think Again. 
Many old-time ham radio operators grew up with magazines such as Popular
Electronics, Electronics Illustrated, and Radio-Electronics. Sadly,these
magazines are gone now, but there are still electronics magazines out there
that can help you keep up with what's going on in electronics. These
magazines are written for practicing electronics engineers,so many of the
articles will not be relevant to amateur radio or written in such a way to
be nearly incomprehensible to electronics hobbyists, but you can't beat
the price. They're free!
The magazines I'm referring to electronics engineering trade magazines.
These magazines are sent out free to electronics engineers and others
working in the industry, and are supported by the advertisers. You're not
an electronics engineer? Don't worry. If you e-mail me, I'll tell you
how you can qualify. 
Let me give you an example of the good stuff you can find in these trade
magazines. In the December 2007 issue of High Frequency Electronics
(, there is an article titled, "Quartz
Crystal Basics." Written by an engineer for a manufacturer of crystals,
crystal oscillators, and crystal filters, this article describes how
crystals are made and gives some tips on designing your own crystal
Also in this issue is the article, "Power Combiners, Impedance
Transformers, and Directional Couplers." This is the first of a series of
articles to discuss these circuits. Amateurs frequently use transmission
line impedance transformers (think baluns) to match an antenna system to
the 50-ohm output of a transceiver.
The new products section includes items on RF parts and test equipment,as
well as book reviews. You probably will not be purchasing the new Boonton
9103 7.5 GHz Portable Spectrum Analyzer ($11,000 and up), but you might be
interested in the book RF Circuit Design ($41 at Amazon). 
As you can see, there's plenty of useful and interesting information in
these trade magazines. In addition to High Frequency Electronics, you may
also want to check out:
  - RF Design (
  - Microwaves and RF (
  - EE Times (
  - EDN (
  - Test&Measurement World (, I used to write for this magazine)
If you don't care to sign up for the print version of the magazine, you
can always visit their websites and sign up for their e-mail newsletters.
These newsletters will keep you informed of new articles and product
information on the websites. You can then choose which ones you want to read.
When he's not trying to get free subscriptions to electronics magazines,
Dan blogs about ham radio (, teach others about ham radio,
and is working to set up an amateur radio station at the Hands-On Museum
( in Ann Arbor, MI. You can e-mail him at:   
 [email protected].